Generative AI comes to collaborative tools


This year, in 2023, AI in the collaborative and, for the time being, office automation sector marks a new milestone in its progress. Indeed, after ChatGPT’s arrival on the Internet, Google and Microsoft are rushing to catch up with each other with their respective assistants: Duet AI and Microsoft Copilot.

ChatGPT’s revolution

Until now, the AI included in the collaborative offering has been rather “timid”, although relatively useful. It analysed user habits to suggest actions and shortcuts. When it came to building documents, assistance was offered to improve the experience, especially when it came to page layout (a pain for many of us!). Creating documents is becoming easier and easier. Office skills are less and less necessary, and soon we won’t be seeing “Office skills required” on job adverts! However, while experience of office tools is gradually improving, there’s no ‘wow’ factor. The blank sheet syndrome is still with us… In 2023, everything will change.

Since the end of 2022, ChatGPT has been impressing people with its response capabilities and, above all, its creativity, no matter what we ask of it. This is a historic turning point for the progress of AI, which logically comes with its share of controversies: anger and concern among scriptwriters, copyright management and the real interest of AI-generated books already available on Amazon, dangers and abuses linked to AI-generated images – even the world of video games is affected! This dazzling progress brings with it its share of problems that will often have to be resolved at political level, with the inertia that that implies… For the moment, the world is experimenting, and generative AI is a goldmine for any business. First come, first served.

The contribution of generative AI to collaborative tools

Less controversial, the application of generative AI in the field of office automation is already here. OnlyOffice was quick to offer a ChatGPT add-on to provide cutting-edge assistance to users. Microsoft and Google followed suit with very similar assistants. But what does it actually do?

Generative AI has the ability to create content based on a simple request. Possibly a complete document, for the laziest among us. But be warned, AI doesn’t know your business as well as you do (but we’re sure that will change soon… ), and above all, a document usually has a specific purpose and content that is difficult to describe in a single sentence. On the other hand, for simple, repetitive documents, AI promises considerable time savings.

Example of Microsoft Copilot

While AI cannot do everything for us, it can easily start something that the user can adjust, enrich, continue and finalise. Today, generative AI is mainly used to initiate things, for example to structure a draft and transform it into a deliverable. It can transform a very rough text (even a list of ideas) into a formal, punctuated text, with paragraphs and headings. This is a major advantage when writing emails, sales proposals and many other types of document. AI can also generate illustrations and images on request!

Example of ChatGPT for OnlyOffice
Example of Duet AI

What about tomorrow?

Tomorrow, we can imagine a generative AI that learns and can be configured to rapidly generate documents that are as close as possible to the company’s business and processes, even the usual tasks and the way each person works. More than ever, humans are freeing themselves from low added-value tasks. As a result, this year will see the gradual arrival of assistants equipped with generative AI in the office automation offering, which is set to make a technological leap forward.

And this is just the beginning. We have no doubt that soon, the user will only have to intervene at two points in the creation of a piece of content: at the beginning, to describe his or her needs precisely, and at the end, to add the final touch that only humans can do…

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Article author :
Thomas Poinsot

Thomas Poinsot